Monday, May 29, 2006


24 hours can make a huge difference. Yesterday I woke up to a sideways blizzard with accumulating snow and today I woke to crystal blue sunny skies. I did see a cow elk up freeze creek last night, she was probably confused about the season. What a world. I celebrated those that have passed on lby living the best I can and started training again. The rest has done me well and I am feeling better. Did a 3 hr road ride over big mtn to the east canyon dam and back with Rog and Fox. Once the legs got turning they felt pretty good and I even pushed it a little on a few switch backs. A good ride with better company. The trail around the compound is making progress but my upper back is sore, if I keep it up I might start looking like Bonds, oh wait it takes designer steroids to look like that, what a putz. Did some grillin and hot tubbin with climbum, Rosie, and Eva. Nothing beats swimming with Eva, she is all smiles even more that usual. Sorry for no pics I am looking for a new little camera, I can't pack Rosies monster around to snap shots of wildlife.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Good Call

"Good judgment comes from experience, Experience comes from bad judgment"
Robert Lovell
I try to teach physical therapy students that good judgment is critical in patient care but often times can only be gained by learning from our mistakes, don't be afraid to make mistakes but save your mistakes for non-critical situations, easier said then done.
I have a much harder time making decisions regarding my free time than my patient care, yesterday I was racked with the decision to race or not. By nature I am a racer, If asked what I am training for I say life. I race nearly year round and enjoy the thrill of racing all types of bikes.
In my heart I wanted to race at thanksgiving point but in my head I new it was not the right thing for me and family. I had not trained in a couple weeks and was trying to get over a cold and some general fatigue, Eva was now sick and had not been sleeping, my amazingly supportive wife had sleep little and would not enjoy hanging out in a windy field. Despite all this rational thought and a morning spent jumping back and forth over the fence I found myself at the race. I signed up, rode around a little and finally about 3 minutes before the start came to my senses. I pulled the plug on the race despite wanting to support the boys at revolution and my racing instincts. In hind sight it was a great decision, I can now polish of my rest weeks with a couple days completely off the bike and come out next week ready to get fit again. In the past I have ignored rational thought and raced when I new I shouldn't only to regret it later, today I am basking in my rare good decision. With the remainder of the day I was able to take Rosie for an egg bagel and get a little work done on my trail system, more on that later. The evening was spent enjoying dinner at our favorite sushi place, Go Sushi on 33rd, give it a try! When Sager called to tell me the race was even less fun than it looked, it only bolstered by decision. Hopefully I can add this experience to my data bank for a future of good decision making.
Props to high roller fox (who just payed Rosie $10 to cut up a watermelon for him) for a well earned 2nd place.
enjoy the fresh snow

Friday, May 26, 2006

on the fence

I am on the fence about racing tomorrow, I have been struggling all week with a head cold and some general fatigue. Have not ridden over 30 min at one time since last weekend. I guess Lance once said if you don't ride for at least 1 hour it is not worth the time, that means about 90% of my time on a bike is not worth it, what does he know. Racing 40 miles into a gale force wind in a cow pasture with a hundred turns sight unseen actually sounds like a good time, I am just not sure I have the energy to perform, I'll decide in the morning.
I now know why 99.9% of all pro mountain bikers don't have children, when you need serious recovery they somehow find sleep unappealing. Eva had a fever last night and would have nothing to do with shut eye, good thing she is worth more than any world championship or cycling title because I was not getting the sleep needed to win a local beginner race. Back in the day the pro's like Ned and Tomac had children, today I can hardly think of any that are married let alone have kids. Maybe it has something to do with feeding hungry mouths on a pro MTBer's salary.
Eric and Sue are house sitting for some friends of ours who are spending 2 weeks in Denver for in-vitro, our prayers are with them. Eric cooked up some pasta for us and I figured that if I ate as big a pile as he did I somehow might become as fast, to bad it does not work that way.
Oh yea,I saw a coyote pooping on the side of the road on my ride home from work.
will see what tonight brings.

Monday, May 22, 2006

moose crossing

Not only have I not been recovering very well but now I wake up with a head cold. Have done very little riding over the last few days. Did take an nice easy recovery ride up big mountain with Rosie and Eva in the trailer, I think it was the first time I have been dropped cold by Rosie. We followed this moose up the road for a while, I bet it's the same one fox ran into. Yesterday I rested hard and even rode the trail 110 (80 mpg) to work. Despite working on the carburetor yesterday it still is having trouble, the float seems to be sticking and it seems some of the ports may be clogging up, I just had the thing apart last night. Just chilled last night, no riding, no manual labor, acting like a real pro just laying around. I can hardly handle it. Word from Rog is the thanksgiving point MTB course is rough and not very fun I guess if I am not feeling the spark yet it won't be a bad one to miss. On the other hand a flat course should be easier to take it easy on, will see. To bad it's not reasonably smooth or I would bust out the cross bike. Hope to get back to some training soon, it's been a while.

Check out the chola picture

Sunday, May 21, 2006

soldier hollow

I got waxed! I new going into this race I was not on top of my game so I was not to disappointed when I did not have much snap. After winning this race last year I had to come back but Soldier hollow is not the place to struggle, 36 miles and 5200 vertical feet on wide open windy trails make for a tough slog, at least I was working on my tan. The first lap I tried to work my way into it and bridged up to Sager on the first long climb. I could tell right then I did not have the energy to pour it on for 4 laps, I had a tough time rolling the flat windy sections and eventually watched Jason and Thomas Spanring ride away. I think Spanring got some calf implants over the winter, he is rivaling Jones; he claims it was all the skiing he did but I say it has to be implants. Anyway, I settled in for a steady ride and finished 3rd. I had no desire to push the pace as I did not plan to catch the race in front of me and could not see anyone behind, I know thats not the killer racer instinct but sometimes you have to save it for another day. I was actually pleased with the outcome considering how I felt and came home with a little diaper money. Props to J and T-calf for showing us all how its done. I think I prefer skiing at soldier hollow.

Check out my cheering section, Eva and little Richard enjoying a day at the races. Little Dickies dad is making a come back to mountain bike racing and ran away with the Sport class win.
Just grinding along daydreaming of days when the power flows like cold Fresca!

It's days like this that really make you appreciate the delicate machine of the human body, all the landscaping and travel have caught with me and I need some rest. I hope to be back on the gas soon!

Other Raleigh Factory Results for the weekend:
Roger 2nd Soldier Hollow
Eric 1st Coyote Classic, Boise ID
Sue 4th Coyote Classic, Boise ID

Thursday, May 18, 2006

pictures of what?

Trying to lay low this week and get my energy back up by the weekend, it is coming around slow. Today I was applying an immediate post-operative prosthesis on a new below-knee amputation in the operating room when I looked up over the shield sheet and noticed this gentleman watching me work on his new stump. How weird would it be to have a limb removed while your awake, off course he could feel nothing due to the epidural and along with a sedative will not remember much, but he was able to listen and talk to me. I have asked hundreds of individuals what it is like right after and amputation and have got all sorts of answers but I don't think you can know unless you experience it. The psyche surrounding major physical change fascinates me. If you ever wanted to watch a below knee amputation here is a narrated 21 min clip.

Anyway, today my training consisted of commuting with a couple short efforts in the am and pm to test my recovery, not bad but not perfect.
Now check out some cool pictures

Traded this Echo CS-3000 chainsaw for a pair of carbon riser bars, this baby will rip through downfall.

Although I am trying to keep the physical labor to a minimum this week in order to dig out of my fatigue hole, I did sneak in a little work on this section of trail in the front yard. I am collecting rocks, here is some big ones I will use to help retain the extra parking spot

Smaller ones to be used for steps in backyard

Hope your not bored with the lack of action cycling photos, you can go anywhere for those, but where can find pictures of rocks.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Loop

I wish I had unlimited energy. Yesterday I did a little to much and am paying for it today with soreness. It seems everything I want to do has a huge physical demand, I need some kind of mental project.

Morning- removed deadwood from the compound, starting to look good with the first part of my test track mapped out.
Afternoon- burned the alpine loop with Roger, I could not resist one of the best loops around. We had a great time and were fortunate to run into the forest service right after they had made the first pass with the auger, they hope to have it open for cars the Friday before Memorial day, now is the time to enjoy it on bikes.
Evening- loaded tons (literally) of rock by hand with the help of Rog. I plan to use this rock to build a stairway in the backyard up to the upper yard. Unloaded the truck today.

The ranger tells me this baby will throw snow 200 feet, no need to stop for downed trees it throws them as well. After cutting the alpine loop it is now on its way to mirror lake highway, after flying over the Uintahs last week I would say it has it's work cut out for it. It's normal home is Fairview canyon. Maybe for next winter I will look into one for my driveway.

Roger near the top of the sundance side, the AF side had a bit more snow but nothing the cross skills can't handle.
Me at the top checking out the huge amount of run off in the upper meadows
Rock! yea that's what you will say when my shirt comes off after I get all this moved.

Good thing I am back at work the remainder of the week, I need to recover.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Lava Rama

Car pooled up to Lava Hot Springs with Eric and Susy in there new suby. If you have never been to Lava Hot Springs it is a cute little town about 10 miles east of I-15 just before you get to Pocatello. The main draw to the town is the hot pools for that hippie type soaking experience. The race was on a dusty 9 mile loop that raced down main street each lap. Because it was an Intermountain Cup and a Wild Rockies series race we had a good pro field of 17 riders. Most of the Utah locals were there including our newest local J-Sager, Boise also had a good representation. Because of the 1.5 mile pavement stretch at the start the pace was nice and easy, except for thin and thinner Perry's attack up the first hill and near miss of the first turn. I was a little hungry on the line which is good for a cross race but for a 2 hour MTB race with lots of climbing I was afraid of running out of gas. A full lap warm up may have been a little to much. Climbum Jones told me this course had a little service road climb, all things are relative because I thought the 20 minute grind to the top was more than little, especially in the heat. I felt ok but had to back off Eric pace at the top of the first climb, the second lap I felt a little better up the long climb but by the end of the lap started to feel some cramps coming on, Jones was always in sight but I did not have the punch to bridge the gap. Near the end of the third lap Jones got a flat and I was able to steal the win, kind of a swap of last weekend. At least the Raleigh boys were able to take 1-2. Susy also had a good race placing 2nd Pro Women to put all the Raleigh's on the podium. Now I just have to chisle the dried cow crap off my bike, Idaho style!
Eva's been waiting all day to go swimming, check out her new suit. Finally enjoying the refreshing 100-120 F. hotpots

Check out the Raleigh Factroy Racing team on

Friday, May 12, 2006

my butt is flat

Finally home. Rosie came and picked me up at the airport and brought my bike out so I could get in a ride today, what a gal. The first few pedal strokes where so refreshing, it's hard to imagine living without those sensations. So I rode the shoreline trail to the mouth of emigration and home. I felt terrible, I guess thats how I feel when the last ride I did was a short track 5 days ago and since I have been traveling. I expected to feel refreshed from taking a break but thats not always how it works. I hope to feel a little better tomorrow for the Lava race but am not expecting much. Now Eva and I got playing to do.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Military Amputees Advanced Skills Training (MAAST)

So I am here training with the department of defense guys because soon these young active duty boys will be discharging and yours truly will be responsible for their amputee care. I am getting up to speed on the high tech goodies being issued. Today we did some gait and run training with all sorts of amputees from Iraq and Afghanistan. I heard some stories today that will blow your mind. The technology is amazing but I just keep going back to why we are being forced to use and develop it. I am sure the prosthetic companies are loving the drawn out war.

I worked with the guy on the right today, Army Sgt. Mike McNaughton who was injured in Afghanistan by landmine on christmas day. Also shared a bus seat with him off the base, he has some serious crazy tales. On the Left is the commander and chief!

I also have been spending some time with our VA/DOD osteo-integrated research team from Salt Lake. Now this is real inspector gadget stuff. The prosthetic hardware will be implanted into the medulary canal of long bones which will then be available for attaching hardware, gone will be the days of poor socket fit and endless skin issues. This will revolutionize amputee care. Currently it is being tested on sheep and should move to human trials in about 2 years. It's been done in Europe but with huge infection rates. Infection control techniques thus far with the rabbits an sheep are great but it is still early. I will be working on a post-op casting/management system to adhere the skin to the distal bone. We will see where this leads.

I know for all you cyclists out there this may be stale, but hey I write what's on my mind. Most of the time it is biking but not always. Tonight I spent a nice evening being wined and dined by the Ossur people down on the river walk. I had a lot of friends as I was one of the few people who did not care to use their 3 drink options, hope they enjoyed, my water was pretty good.

The heart of the 8th largest city in the country

The Alamo, there is no basement I checked!

Looking forward to doing my first ride on the week tomorrow when I get home, might need a good opener for the Lava race.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Brooke Army Medical Center

While at work at home I try to adhere to the rule "never stand when you can sit and never sit when you can lay" in order to save some energy for the bike or other labors on the homestead, my job makes this challenging as I am on my feet 75% of the time. While attending a conference I try to adhere to the rule "never sit when you can stand and never stand when you can be moving", despite adherence to this policy today was a challenge.

The last time I was in San Antonio was last spring for NORBA national #1, two things stick firmly in my mind. 1st the building material of choice here is white limestone and 2nd my XC was a debacle after having a top 20 opening TT. It all started with a flat tire on the start line which gave the field a 2-3 minute start on a mud chocked single track course, as I was moving through the field I crashed in a mud hole and landed on some sharp mud covered limestone and gashed my elbow open. This resulted in 11 self induced sutures in the hotel room following the race, don't worry I have experience suturing up my other arm. Its not the suturing that is bad, it is the scrubbing and debreidment without anesthesia that's stings a little. Actually Rog and I have become quit skilled in simple soft tissue closures and I now have a full stock of suture kits on hand, I guess this is another story. Anyway this go around in SA I am without my trusty Raleigh and spending my days in a state of the art military hospital.

Today was primarily didatic material on everything from battlefield surgical techniques to post operative stump management to the psychological issues of the Iraqi veteran. Tomorrow we dive into the hands on clinic work. If you are in the military and injured any where in the world you will either come here or go to Walter Reid in DC. This place is full of sad stories, 20 y/o marines with bilateral transfemoral amputations, severe burns, and head trauma. The 2500ish casualties you here about on the news are a drop in the bucket compared to all the serious life changing injuries. I respect these guys for following their leaders but man lets get some leaders that will get us out of Iraq. I better not get started. Throughout history medical advancement has come during periods of war and now is no different, we are learning and developing at a crazy pace and hopefully peace will again reign and we can use the advancements to prevent rather than patch up.

Sorry for the graphic nature of this picture. This is the result of a road side bomb while traveling in an armored vehicle, I am going to be more greatfull for my legs even when their turning the pedals slow.
This is a relative minor blast injury, just four fingers!

Sorry for so much writing but I have little else to do, after today's work I took nearly a 2 hour hike through town to find a grocery store, it's not threshold work but at least it is movement. I am already dreaming of a quick bike ride when I get back Friday night and hope to make it to the Lava race. A week of no training is not the best prep but I think it will be good for me in the long run.

At Ease

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

NORBA National #1 Fontana, CA

Eva took her first trip to California and I bet she was not to impressed. I think Fontana is the trucking center of CA, on the 20 min bike ride from out hotel to the venue you pass at least 20 big rig dealers, Peterbuilt, Mack, they were all represented. We arrived Thursday afternoon and burned a couple laps of the course. It was fun with short steep punchy climbs and rutted out downhills, to be perfectly honest I was afraid of some of the descents, you don't have much control when your wheel is deep in a 12 inch rut, once racing it was not an issue. Rog unfortunately left some skin on a concrete culvert while preriding, not just leg and arm skin but the precious face variety, he rebounded quickly to score a impressive 3rd place. By now you have heard all the results and play by plays so I will not bore you with that, here is a bullet list of how things went down for me on race day.

-Legs felt good warming up, but was a little sleepy from early mornings with Eva.
-Started on the 3rd row and had a good start moving into the teens by the first reel climb
-Tried to keep the pace steady with seated high cadence climbing, hoping to save something for later
- First 2 laps bounced around in 15th-16th place, struggled on the flat windy section when not with other riders
-3rd lap started to feel the heat, it was only in the upper 70's but I have yet to ride in any warm weather
-End of the 3rd lap I was in 20th place trying to hold of Jay Henry, we were 8 min down on the leaders by now.
-On the 4th and last lap Jay passed me as well as Jeff Hall, I passed Jeff back on a steep climb and was reeling in Brian Miller when my rear tire was cut on a rock, I was sprayed with stans and could not get it to seal, I was forced to change it and watched as 10 guys flew by, the only one I was happy to see was Eric.
-My morale was broken and I limped in for 32nd place, the flat cost me 4 minutes and 10 spots.
-My only complaint is they race the pro men and women at the same time on a short loop, before I flated I had passed the entire women's field except the top 14 and Kabush had to pass them all on a mostly single track course, I guess I am just bitter because my flat occurred while passing one of the women.
-Lessons learned 1. I am climbing well but need work on flat power sections or better timing to secure a draft, 2. Anticipate sharp rocks near my rear tire while passing others, 3. It's just a bike race.

- Again legs felt good, did a 45 minute ride in the am
- Late race at 3pm, again started on the 3rd row. Lined up on the outside anticipating a bog on the inside of the first turn, I am always right.
- Start was fast as usual and I quickly tried to establish position
-Missed the front group as only the guys in the first row or so have a chance at it.
-Dangled of the back of the 2nd group for the next 25 minutes, catching them on the climb and scrambling to get on after all the wheel checking on the descent and through the sandy flat corners.
- Ended up 17th but worked a lot harder than I should have for it. At one point I was on Travis Browns wheel moving up to the group and feeling good but bobbled through the sand and was unable to get back on. This cost me big as I rode alone for a few laps.
-Lessons learned 1. Again need more power on rough flat sections, 2. stay awake and suck wheels, 3. It's just a bike race, a fun one.
-Jumped in the car after the race and drove to mesquite and then home, had a nice black cherry ice cream cone at the Rite Aide across the street from the race, not many venues have a pharmacy on site.
Props to Sager for 10th

Best part about the whole trip was I got spend a lot of time with Rosie, Rog, and Jane, and best of all Eva.

Flew to San Antonio today for a amputee workshop, left the house this morning it was 34 F, arrived in SA to 97 F with high humidity.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Brief encounter with home

I am finally out of the inland empire but unfortunately am leaving again in the morning for San Antonio. I will be spending the week at the military hospital working with the department of defense on amputee care and some cutting edge technology. I don't have time for a good race report right now but will say it was generally a good time I will save the detailed report for my down time in SA but here is a few pics from the wimpy camera, wait until you see the ones Rosie shot.

On the 3rd lap with the Teco's boy from Mexico, on the bubble for top 20

Chillin after the XC with Eva, she loves me even if I flat and lose 10 spots with a botched repair, in fact she loves even if I get dead last.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

one track

To and from work on the new carbon Raleigh road bike- felt good but the upper body is a little tired from yesterday's dig-athon. Why don't cyclists heed the temporary red light at the bottom of the canyon, it's only 4 minutes and the work is being done for cyclists. Today I was nearly hit head on by some fool who thought he would bust the light and save a couple minutes. Good thing I have bruce lee like reflexes and was able dart around an orange barrel, guess I should have hit it and added to A-trains cash cow. Now don't get me wrong, I have ran my share of stop signs/lights but this specefically asks cyclists to stop and is always in plain view of multiple oversive SUV driving motorists. I was actually pulled over on my cross bike by a mustached motorcycle cop at 15th and 15th for busting a stop sign a few years back. He gave me a $77 ticket and then harassed for not having an ID on my person, I proceeded to inform him that I was unaware of any law requiring I carry an ID. This is the same cop who used to hide in the bushes on his moto up by city creek hoping to nab people going the wrong direction on the oneway. I should have told him my name was Cris Fox, although he probably knows him by name. I then tapped the good old boy system and contacted a friend who new the clerk at the courthouse and bingo the ticket disappeared. I guess I should not be proud of such a scheme but I am sure there are better things to clog up our judicial system. My point is, please stop at the lights in emigration canyon because I ride the canyon everyday and I don't want to end up on the grill of an Escalade because some vigilante feels it is his responsibility to punish the red rollers.
On a positive note check out the single track I busted once I made it home. This trail is 100 ft from my house and is drying out enough to ride the lower section. Cleaned this bridge up and down

Cleaned this bridge going up but rear tire slide out on inside log going down, need to approach it at less of an angle.
did not even attempt this stream crossing, although in this pic it looks harmless.
May not be updating for a while, heading to Mesquite tomorrow after work and then to Fontana for a weekend at the races.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Green Thumb

The dentist was painless and cost me little. I broke a tooth on some warm chocolate and few weeks back and Dr M tells me its no big deal, smoothes it off and I am out the door, that's unheard of at the dentist. So he got the new Utah Sports Magazine in his office waiting room and had me sign the picture from the Frozen Hog, I felt like a rockstar despite being just a hacker mountain bike racer.
Any mag that supports cycling is cool, go find a copy, Racers got a pic, Gregger's wife Erin, and some other cool shots.

What if bike racing was at the popularity equivalent of say basketball, I would probably be something like a sixth man coming off the bench, don't have the pure gift but have been consistently improving. Can play with the Allstars but with the clock ticking down the ball always goes to the big guns like Wells, JHK, and Craig. What if I was making the NBA coin for riding my bike, yea that would be cool but I would also miss out on a lot. Like today I treated an 82 y/o WWII veteran who has a purple heart and was a POW. He was a gunner stationed in France and was shot down over Germany where he spent 100 days in a NAZI POW camp, stories like this are priceless, it won't be long and all the WWII vets will have passed away. Anyway he has metastaic carcinoma which most likely began in his prostrate and has now spread, plain films show lytic lesions in his sacrum and he is presenting with significant left leg weakness including drop foot. Have not got the MRI back but suspect either pathologic fractures in his lumbar spine or additional mets impinging his lumbar nerve roots. Hope to at least get him fixed up to return home walking with a cane or walker and maybe get in a few rounds of golf this summer. His situation is defiantly terminal and probably sooner than later but he should at least get a few more swings in. As much as I like racing my bike, I also enjoy the other things I am able to do.

Planted trees all afternoon, 3 more Norway spruce and 2 Aspen. I have a couple more to go but I will wait until the new shed is done. With the NORBA getting closer I got to start tapering my manual labor. No more digging this week. Fox just busted upstairs to tell me he big ringed the climb home, don't call it a come back!